Abbas, Mahmoud

Abbas, Mahmoud

Abbas, Mahmoud, 1935-, Palestinian leader, also known as Abu Mazen. He was born in Saffed, Palestine (now in Israel), but his family fled during the 1948-49 Arab-Israeli conflict and lived in Syria. Educated at Damascus Univ. and Moscow Oriental College, Abbas helped found Al Fatah and held nonmilitary positions in the group under Yasir Arafat. A Palestinian negotiator on the Oslo Accords and in subsequent talks with Israel, he became deputy chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1996 and briefly served as Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister in 2003, resigning after clashing with Arafat over control of the security forces. Regarded as a pragmatist, Abbas has called for an end to armed struggle against Israel, saying that the Palestinians are outgunned and cannot win. He was chosen to succeed Arafat as PLO chairman and the leader of Al Fatah following the latter's death in 2004 and was elected president of the PA in 2005. The 2006 election of a Hamas majority in the PA legislature led to a standoff between Abbas and the Hamas government over recognizing Israel and over control of the security forces, resulting in a government that was unable to function and tensions that at times erupted into fighting between Hamas and Al Fatah. In early 2007 both groups agreed to form a power-sharing government, but Abbas dissolved the government after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June, 2007, and appointed an emergency government with no Hamas members. In 2009 Abbas indicated he would not seek a second term, but the PLO voted to extend his PA presidency indefinitely when it and Hamas could not agree on an election date.
also called Abu Mazen

(born 1935, Zefat, Palestine [now in Israel]) Palestinian leader. Abbas earned a law degree from the University of Damascus and a doctorate in history from Moscow State University. In the late 1950s he was one of the founders of Fatah, which spearheaded the Palestinian armed struggle and dominated the Palestine Liberation Organization. In the 1990s Abbas shaped Palestinian negotiating strategy in peace talks that led in 1993 to the Oslo Accords, in which Israel and the Palestinians extended to each other mutual recognition and which called for Israel to cede some authority over the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the Palestinians. He briefly served as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority in 2003 and was elected its president in 2005.

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Abbas (or Abbass, عباس ) means "austere" in Arabic. (Austere: (1) severely simple in appearance. (2) strict, stern).

Abbas, mediaeval Latin for "abbot" is an element in a number of place names in England.

People named Abbas

Given name


People with the Kunya Abbas

  • Abu Abbas (1948–2004) aka "Muhammad Zaidan", founder of the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) organization

Places named Abbas

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